January 17, 2014
We had a visit from Ultra Sport Europe rep Neil before Christmas, and – thanks to the festive timewarp – have only just got round to writing about it. (Sorry Neil!)
Ultra Sport Europe is the UK distributor for Bern helmets and Contour cameras (among other brands). Yes, that Contour cameras – we were pleased to hear that it’s well and truly back in business, with the waterproof and colourful Roam2 (£169.99) currently available from the Contour shop and fresh stock of the all-singing all-dancing Bluetooth and GPS-enabled +2 (£359.99) due in soon.
Neil’s real reason for visiting though (apart from the coffee) was the brace of Bern helmets he delivered for us to play around with. Bern makes a substantial range of very cool urban helmets (with or without warm inside caps, peaks etc.), but of particular interest to us is the Morrison, Bern’s new all-mountain lid.
After a quick kitchen test we reckon the Morrison is well vented, has plenty of protection around the back of the head and a tough yet flexible peak that’s likely to stand up well to being ground into the floor. It’s what Bern calls ‘sink fit’, which we call ‘wearing a limpet round your head’ (ie. very secure), and features a manufacturing process Bern calls ‘zip molding’, which allows the lid to be made thinner, lighter and with a higher strength/weight ratio than an in-molded helmet. At 425g, it’s still a little heavier than some other lids but conforms to both CPSC (USA) and EN1078 (European) standards. It also comes in three sizes (S-M, L-XL and XXL-XXXL), can take Bern’s soft, warm inner cap – ideal for winter when it eventually arrives, then – and has an optional goggle clip if you want to get your enduro on. The Morrison (£80) should be available from 1st March and we’ve already got it out on the trails, so look out for a Grinder test in issue 88.
Neil also brought along the Nino – this is one of Bern’s youth helmets, which are safety-rated for snowsports as well as EU and US cycling standards. It comes with a soft peak, simplified retention system and the same sleek zip molding as the Morrison. Bern does a number of smaller kids lids as well and the female-specific models feature smaller shells and different tooling for a better shape, as well as some frankly awesome colourways which are reminiscent of the sort of colours you’ll find women wearing on the high street rather than on the trails. Good work, Bern.